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We've just wrapped up with today's press conference. The upshot is that we're all just sort of sitting around waiting in suspense to find out exactly how the whole process is going to evolve. Everything has happened. Everything is over. All of the small circle reports were handed in yesterday. Right now, the drafting committee with a number of questionable bishops and cardinals on it is putting together the first draft. That first draft is going to be handed over to the full plenary session tomorrow. They'll read it, see it, look at it, and they'll vote yes or no, or change this. More than likely, the process is allowing for them to say "we want to change this, we want to change that," but since we don't know what the "this" or the "that" is yet, we don't know how they are going to go on the vote.
But again, some things are very telling here. Cardinal Oswald Gracias from India was there today, and a closing thought that he said at the very end of the press conference (this is, I think, the fourth day in a row now, the very last thing said from that press dais is the thing that gets attention) — he said in effect, "I don't think it's enough for us to just sit here and think about restating Familiaris Consortio (John Paul's encyclical on the family). We need to do more!"
So that's the big question. What's the "more" going to be? Is it going to strike out some of Familiaris Consortio and the Church's traditional teachings, shoving it aside and trying to express it in new language, that sort of refrain we've been hearing all week? Right now, we're just in a holding pattern.
But while it does appear that the Kasper proposal, the divorced and civilly remarried for Holy Communion reception, has been defeated or doesn't look like it has much support at all in the body of the bishops, again what matters is what these 10 bishops now do. They're the ones, these bishops and cardinals —and the superior general of the Jesuits is among them, Fr. Nicolás — what do those guys write down? What do they do? They really have the final say on what's handed over to the Pope. Lots of suspense going on right now.
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